Question Everything. Even That Which You Know.

A few months ago I was given the opportunity to present to Government Officials, Business Leaders and some real movers and shakers in my community at the Salvation Army Luncheon. I had 15 minutes to speak… and not a second was wasted.

My Speech transcribed:

When I was in school, I used to believe that I wasn’t exactly what you’d define as intelligent. The only reason I graduated was because I passed Art, Music, Drama and Business. I failed every other subject that I thought defined my intelligence, including Math A, the easiest Math class offered.

I left home at 17 to begin university on the gold coast… and it was only a few months before I began to fail every subject there too… So I decided to just get a job. Four years passed and I soon found myself climbing the corporate ladder, rubbing shoulders with business leaders and found my unique skill set was well received, landing amazing managerial positions… But I knew deep inside, there’s got to be more…

Having almost lost my little brother to suicide, having lost my best friend to suicide and having so many friends of mine also lose friends and family to suicide, I really began to question what life was all about…

And in 2012, I swapped the stilettos for boots and tight black corporate suits for ripped jeans and baggy shirts, and travelled the globe, most of it alone, experiencing, feeling, learning, seeing and touching this divine world.

I didn’t know, what I didn’t know. And if I wanted to find out what I didn’t know, I had to do something different, I had to get way out of my comfort zone, and get really, really uncomfortable. And I did exactly that whilst travelling through South America, where I encountered a number of experiences that really put things into perspective for me.

I remember one night seeing a young boy no more than 5 years old standing outside my hostel waiting for someone to throw him some food or money. He had a delicately small frame, beautiful big brown eyes and a snotty nose… I asked the hostel staff about the boy, they said he doesn’t want food, he only wants money because he’s addicted to sniffing glue. I tried to sleep that night, but all I could think about this little boy. It was freezing outside, and I knew had no shoes, wearing ripped shorts and a shirt and sleeping alone on freezing cold concrete. I was in Santa Marta, Colombia, so walking outside at night wasn’t an option, especially the area I was staying in so I woke one of the boys and begged for him to get out of their warm bed to come with me to see if this little boy was ok.

I peered out the front door and I could see his little body curled so tightly in the corner, trying to keep warm. I took some water and some food out to him… But he was too frail, fragile and high too feed himself. My impatient freezing friend was yelling at me from the doorway of the hostel to come back in, and leave him with the food and that it was far too dangerous for me to be outside…

I’ve never had a near death experience, but for me in that very moment, my entire life began flashing through my mind in vivid pictures. For me, there was no other option but to sit down, on the freezing cold concrete with this little boy and to feed him. Because I knew the moment I stepped back in side, someone else would have come up and taken the food I had left for him. About an hour had past and I managed to get a substantial amount of food and water back into his little body. By now his eyes were wide open, we had a very basic conversation in Spanish and he even managed a few smiles.

From the day on, regardless of my insignificant back packer’s budget, I’d give something to someone, every day. Be it a few dollars or a moment of my love and time.

Winston Churchill said : We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Coming home a year later, deeply touched by the people, the cultures, the history and more curious about the meaning of life than ever, I enrolled into course after course, reading books about Neuro Science, consciousness, spirituality, the power of the mind, studying the micro world of quantum physics to the macro world of the universe and cosmos… Asking questions and seeking answers.

One of my greatest learnings was half way through last year when I discovered I had a brain… A brain that contains unlimited power and knowledge, and I’d never known how to use it before, in fact, it was using me. A brain that is no different to Einstein’s or Tesla’s or yours, but limited only by my conditioning and beliefs.

I had been spoon fed content my entire life, taught to remember it, then to regurgitate the information during the exam at the end of the semester, and if I remembered it all correctly, I get an A+ and I’m smart. Clearly my memory wasn’t running in accordance to what was expected in School… There is only 1 right answer, which lay not in my mind, but the teachers, and if answered incorrectly, you were ostracised and the only safe place was at the back on the room.

However, the fact that Jelly Fish have survived for 650 million years despite not having a brain gave me hope.

I began to realize, that knowing a lot and thinking you know so much that you need not question what you know, does not make you intelligent. Questioning everything, even that which you know, is what makes you intelligent.

I questioned everything, shifting me into a completely new paradigm.

‘Why’ became my favourite word. ‘How’ became my second. And ‘What if’ became my third.

And now I think I’m on the secret services watch list.

The moment I learnt how to think, I was then able to learn, what to think. I am now beginning to understand the infinite power of the human mind and how it works, and spend my Saturday nights reading about the beautiful complexities of the quantum realm that makes you and I, these flesh puppies filled with infinite amounts of energy a miracle in this existence.

But I am but one very fortunate human being among way to many unfortunate.

If we could shrink the earth’s population of over 7 billion people down to a village consisting of 100 people with all the existing ratios the same, it would look like this:

There would be:

  • 60 Asians
  • 14 Americans
  • 13 Africans
  • 12 Europeans
  • 1 Australian or Kiwi
  • 52 female
  • 48 male
  • 70 non-white
  • 30 white
  • 70 non-Christian
  • 30 Christian
  • 89 heterosexual
  • 11 homosexual
  • 6 people would possess 60% of the entire worlds wealth and all 6 would be from the US
  • 50 would live on 2 dollars a day
  • 25 live on less than a dollar
  • 80 would live in substandard housing
  • 70 are unable to read or write
  • 50 suffer from malnutrition
  • 48 are in need of water
  • 1 college graduate
  • 1 TV
  • 1 Computer
  • There is no doctor, no nurse, no dentist, no hospital clinic, no school and no common language
  • Average person in this village is a 13 year old Chinese girl.

In Australia, 1 in every 200 are completely homeless… and to put that into perspective, almost the entire population of Cairns, is homeless, and almost 20% of those are under the age 12.

I didn’t understand. How can we have so few people up the top, with so much, and so many people at the bottom, with so little? How did humanity become so unbalanced and unequal? What if we weren’t designed to live the way we’ve been conditioned to live and that’s why suicide, homelessness and obesity are on the rise?

What is our basic human nature? Is it to cooperate or dominate?

Is it for kingdom or democracy?Is it for competition or equality?

When you look at ancient and indigenous cultures around the world, one of their highest values, if not the highest, is cooperation and competition is very low. In some of these cultures, beyond a certain boundary, competition is considered a mental illness.

You look at the western culture,and we value competition extremely high. To the extent where we celebrate, reward, and praise the best competitor. Seen on the front of glossy gossip magazines around the world…

And children grow up, wanting to be famous…

Animals and Nature can also be looked at as competitive however the reality is, cooperation is just as much a part of their natural ways as survival of the fittest. In fact, democracy and equality is played out every day by nature.

And beautifully portrayed in murmuration’s of Starlings, or giant schools of fish, or herds of dear, where they all vote individually, hundreds of times per minute, with the beat of every wing,the pump of every gill, or the direction in which they point their nose. Democracy is found in insects all the way up to primates.

In the book “The Decent of Man” by Charles Darwin, he mentions ‘Survival of the fittest’ twice, and ‘Love’ 95 times.

The basis of nature is cooperation and democracy. And it’s found, in our DNA.

In fact, you can’t even be a human, without another human. If there were no community, there would be no ‘us’.

As technology evolved over the last century, it seemed that human connection, dissolved. We’ve created more technology with the intent to bring about more abundance that has only left us with more needs and wants, an education system that grades us on our ability to remember and not our ability to think, learning almost everything except HOW we think and corporations that make decisions based on their bottom line rather than the ecological effect it has on this globe and humanity.

So how did we as a human race go from living through our hearts in harmony and taking care of one another, to living from our conditioned minds, stuck in the cycle of manifesting a world immersed in scarcity, competition and fear?

Einstein said “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” I believe his fear is nearer then we choose to believe. I cringe when I sit in a restaurant and I see families with their children sitting with their faces buried in iPads and hand held games devices, completely disconnected from human interaction and connection.

Have we become addicted and hypnotised by a world of fluctuating forms, immersed and identified with the content of our lives. It seems we are more concerned and consumed by the fear of being less then what society says I should be, instead of who I could be if no one told me who I should be.

Have we forgotten who we are beyond the story of our lives and beyond the incessant stream of thought. Are we unconsciously consumed by time that we have forgotten eternity. Unconsciously consumed by money and material items that we have forgotten our natural state of human interaction, connection, love and cooperation.

Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, we are all responsible for each other and the world. We are all responsible for Earths current state because either unconsciously or consciously, we have made it that way… And it is you and I, who have the power and the means too not only create a better future, but a thriving one and it begins with you.

To survive as a species, we must soon realise that the model we are working from is broken.

Just as the adolescent teenager must accept and adapt to the changing physical and mental conditions of life, we too, as a human species, must accept and adapt to the changing mental, emotional and spiritual conditions of life, if we wish to evolve.

In today society, anyone that galvanises people, inspires peoples, cares for people, creates communities, and gives without any intention of receiving, are the real Hero’s and survivors… And I want to say from the absolute depths of my heart and soul, thank you, because there are many of you in this room. (Applause)

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and when we come together as a community, that one step, can be one very big, giant leap.

I look back on my life with immense gratitude for all the gifts I’ve received on my journey that got me to this very divine point. The money people invested in my growth and passions and more importantly the time people invested to share their stories, their wisdom, and their guidance.

Money can be replaced, time cannot.

I look at this big beautiful world, with 7.2 billion people… And although I’m just one person who’s crazy enough to think they can change it, I’ve made it my mission, to give back to this world as many gifts as it has to me tenfold. The ripple effect begins with one drop.

If you don’t have the money, give your time.

If you don’t have the time, give your money.

I’m curious Cairns, how big is the stone we are going to throw into the pond today? How big a ripple would you like to create, the ripple begins with you.

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  • Alex, this was inspirational. Your vision and your passion shine a glorious light into the world. Thank you for being all that you are. I look forward to watching your speech again with my eldest daughter. Namaste, Bianca